EXCLUSIVE: Norwegian chief prosecutor reports Sarawak Energy CEO to Malaysia’s corruption watchdog
(OSLO / NORWAY) Okokrim, Norwayâs National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, have approached the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) over a major corruption case involving a Norwegian energy manager. The case involves Torstein Dale Sjotveit, the CEO of state-owned Malaysian power supplier Sarawak Energy.
In a letter disclosed today, Trond Eirik Schea, the Director of Okokrim, writes: âThe case concerns alleged involvement in corruption in Malaysia. Okokrim has in that respect contacted the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in January 2014 to inform them about your complaint.â
Last November, the Bruno Manser Fund filed a complaint with Okokrim because Sjotveit granted contracts worth over US$ 200 million to companies linked to the former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. Under Norwegian laws, it is forbidden for Norwegian nationals to get involved in corruption anywhere in the world.
âCase must be handled by the authorities in Malaysiaâ
Norway's chief prosecutor for economic crime states that he is not in a position to initiate criminal proceedings against Sjotveit as all alleged criminal actions have taken place in Malaysia: âEven though this case regards allegations about gross corruption it is a matter of fact that all actions have taken place in Malaysia and as such the case must be handled by the authorities in Malaysia.â
Last week, Norwegian energy advisor, Norconsult, confirmed it had concluded extensive consultancy contracts with Sarawak Energy. Norconsult CEO John Nyheim defended the deals by saying that an evaluation of Sarawak Energy had shown âthat the company has not been convicted on any allegations of corruption or malpracticeâ.
An indigenous delegation from Sarawak is currently in Oslo to protest against Norway's role in the Sarawak governmentâs controversial dam plans. The Bruno Manser Fund calls on Malaysia's Anti Corruption Commission, MACC, to act swiftly against Sarawak Energy and eradicate the rampant corruption in the state's power sector.
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